Archive for February 2012
My dear friend Norma surprised us today with sweet pink tamales for Valentine’s Day. They had plump raisins and/or dried cranberries inside. Though savory ones are more common, it appears “tamales de dulce” is traditional for Christmas and Easter. Norma, from Texcoco, Mexico, is the niece of Maria, who taught that wonderful tamales-making class for Slow Food Corvallis a few years back. Speaking of Baltimore and tamales. When available, I think I prefer the moister banana leaf versions. Last spring, an OSU student was selling banana leaf tamales at the Co-op…wonder what happened to her. We’ve also had some banana leaf ones here made by a friend of a friend who works for Spring Hill Farm in Albany.
In addition to the pink tamales, we had some pink wild salmon for Valentine’s Day. I cooked it in parchment packets for the first time. I used the salmon with sake recipe from Molly O’Neill massive tome, One Big Table. Next time, I might try this seemingly more aromatic one from famous Seattle chef Tom Douglas. Tomorrow, I’ll give sweet, almost 8-month-old baby Theo his first bite of salmon. He loves sardines, surprisingly. So far, the kid is as omnivorous as his mother.
We try to avoid the restaurant rush and $$$ on Valentine’s Day now, but we did have a lovely multi-course meal at our beloved Le Patissier Sunday night. The most interesting thing to me was jicama ravioli with smoked salmon. The Belgian farmhouse ales in the pairing were intriguing. But by far the best thing I’ve had at Le Patissier of late is the C.B.L.T.A., a croissant B.L.T. with avocado and a basil mayonnaise. I’m trying to not make a habit of the indulgent sandwich.
Better get my BlogtimOregon on again already. One meager post in January–here’s to keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. We made the Silver Palate’s ever-reliable “Chili for a Crowd” for the game. This is not your everyday chili. It’s got a unique Dijon mustard-olive-dill-Italian sausage-enhanced tang. We served it with two versions of cornbread: a maple syrup-enhanced one and another with whole kernels, inspired by the Baltimore food blog Coconut & Lime. Added some polenta to the mix to amp up its texture. And we chased it down with Oregon Trail Brown Ale, fresh from the 2.5-gallon beer pig.
Too bad I didn’t realize how appropriate chowder would be this year. Food52 had a cute Manhattan vs. New England Clam Chowder breakdown. Ironic that Manhattan wins hands down in my book. With a coughing baby needing attention, I barely watched a minute of the game. I don’t pretend to care about football, or any professional sports for that matter, but it’s hard to ignore America’s second biggest food holiday, worts (spelling intentional, prounced “wert” my KLCC editor reminds me) and all.